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2013 Annual BBTR Big Bear Run Dual Sport Ride - Great Success

Published on 6/24/2013
Only 43! Last year 118 riders received plaques. It was decided this year to make the hard route much more difficult so that wouldn't happen, and the BBTR did!

Larry Roeseler missed Check Point 8 and Ty Davis missed Check Point 7. I don't know if they were as disappointed as the guys riding along with them that really wanted the plaques.  

In order to keep riders from leaving so early in the morning and waking up the ranger whose home was along the route last year and was woken up at 5 a.m. by the first person riding by, it was decided that the first check would be at 6 a.m. in the Convention Center parking lot. That also meant that there would be a mass exodus; everyone would be leaving as soon as their number was checked off the entry list. 

With the first obstacle being Gold Mountain, I heard that it was pretty crowded on that boulder field. Riders were down all over that part of the trail.

There's been no rain on the mountain for the last couple of months, so it was dusty and silty all day long. Those riders who made the mistake of following the dust of the riders in front of them instead of their GPS sometimes missed a check. I felt really bad for them. Nothing's worse than arriving back at signups with your tickets and being told you are short a ticket or two. You should have seen the look of disappointment on those riders' faces. 

Those experienced with their GPS from other events, like Baja racing, and who are fast riders were the first ones in. It's not a race. If riding through tough terrain quickly using GPS only with no roll charts at this ride for the first time didn't hinder you, it didn't take you longer than 9-11 hours. Of course, when you're in the top ten riders, the route isn't as beat up, either. 

These were the first 10 riders in:

1. and 2. Russ Mitchell and Francisco Real 2:50 p.m. (8 hrs., 50 min.)
3. Vic Marlow 3:15
4. Bruce Purcell 3:55
5. Ryan Dahl 3:57
6. Mike Bergman 4:08
7. Jeffrey Glassett 4:37 (a teenager)
8. Donnie Herold 5:05
9. Brian Cornelius 5:35
10. and 11. Dave Harlan and Russ Starck 5:52 (11 hrs. 52 min.)
12. Troy Blankenship 5:52 

Notice how many of these riders rode solo to win the plaque. Or else they separated from their buddies when their buddies had issues. Selfishness is sometimes a part of getting a plaque. Let's face it!  

Bryan Raymond came in at number 7, but was missing Check 7, the Pussycat Hill Check. It was 4:15. He was told he had 45 minutes to go out, ride 20 miles to the check before they closed at 5 p.m., and climb the hill. 

One of the other riders who had just made it in ran for a container of gas, gave him a gallon, and Bryan rode off to Highway 38 looking for the turnoff. I saw him a couple of hours later with a grin on his face. He had all seven tickets now, and he received his plaque! He was really fortunate.

Michael Phillips came in at 4:43 missing Check 8 and was told it was too late to go back there to get the ticket; the check would be closed by the time he got there. He was so bummed out. 

Barry Van Fossen came in at the same time missing a check or two. A pattern was starting to develop. There was some errors with riders reading their GPS units correctly. There were trails that were really easy to miss, and some riders had missed them. 

The first riders in, Russ Mitchell and Francisco Real, race Baja. They are used to following courses on GPS, so this didn't faze them. But Russ said that it was really nice to see ribbon on the trail.

I heard from some riders that did the easy course. "It wasn't so easy. The Big Bear Trail Riders took us up a rocky hill that went on forever!" one rider said. "I've never been on a dual sport ride where the easy ride is so hard!" another one commented.

So goes another Big Bear Run. I'm sure once you're all rested you'll forget the tired muscles and you'll be hankering for another year to pass and looking forward to the 20th Big Bear Run!